Wednesday, August 04, 2010

My Domestic Church: The Ten Little Commandments for Home Schools

Another favorite post from July 2007


My Domestic Church: The Ten Little Commandments for Home Schools

The Ten Little Commandments for Home Schools

In honor of the late Dr. Raymond Moore, I would like to present his Ten Little Commandments for Homeschools from the book he wrote with his wife Dorothy:Home-spun Schools: Teaching Children at Home-What Parents Are Doing and How They Are Doing It. As I was typing this, I was reminded of how far the culture of homeschooling has come! When this book was written in 1982, homeschoolers were being persecuted and arrested. Now it is almost mainstream and perhaps we even take our freedoms to homeschool our own children for granted! I am also highligting some of the words that were especially meaningful to me.

Raymond and Dorothy Moore- Ten Little Commandmnets for Homeschools:

1. Be sure your beliefs and goals as parents; decide if the needs of your children are more important to you than social pressures and bad laws, an if you can be a compassionate neighbor when others think you are strange. The more you know about your children, the more likely you will cope.

2. Examine your willingness to be a patient, warm, responsive and consistent parent . If you can't handle your children, learn how, like the parents in this book have done. Otherwise put them in a good school or farm them out to someone who can guide them.

3. Learn how your children develop so that you can talk knowledgeably and with assurance to your school officials. We have prepared such books as
Home Grown Kids, Better Late Than Early and School Can Wait, to help you.

4. Learn your rights as parents. You will find considerable information in this book. More will be gleaned from such books as Home-Grown Kids or from home school centers.

5. Seek the best counsel available, usually through your center. But if necessary, reach out to national specialist and don't go into court without experienced counsel and witnesses.

6. Settle on a curriculum compatible with your ability and beliefs. Many parents later find that they can build their own courses of study without helper schools, but experienced suppliers are a good bet when you begin.

7. Keep a balance in your program. Don't tie yourself down to books all day. An hour and a half to two hours is ample time for formal education in a typical home school. No formal education at all is needed before age eight or ten. But work, read, sing, play, rest, eat and go places with your children. If you have more than one child, use the older ones to teach the younger and the stronger to help the weaker. Home school should be less perplexity than fun. You are teaching by example every moment. Respond warmly. Use your imagination. Everything within sight, sound, touch, taste and smell is a learning tool.

8. Don't make a big thing out of being different, but don't be ashamed either. Name your home school, so that when asked, your children can say, "I go to the Rice Christian Academy." It may be wise to consider yourself a branch of your supplier school or set up as a satellite of a local public, private or parochial school. or you may arrange for supervision by a certified teacher if you must have the confidence of local school officials. Remember, no two home schools will be exactly alike. If you are determined to meet the needs of your child, you will do very well.

9. Most school officials seem to prefer that you move ahead quietly although in states like California, you usually file an affidavit with your state or county school office. If officials challenge you or threaten arrest, be calm, offer evidence of the rightness of your doings, ask if in face of your evidence they have any better ideas. If they are persistent, seek specialists help. There are usually many recourse short of court, such asinjunction, hearings with boards of education and reasoning by specialists on your behalf with officials which often quickly settles the case. For parents of faith this also means prayer.

10. Keep your cool. If your children do not learn as fast as you think they should, take counsel. Be patient. Note MargeSchaefer's fear in Chapter 2 ab out her middle son reading little at age nine, but reading like an adult six months later when he was ready. It is seldom good to rush music lessons or gymnastics or other popular skills. Most music teaches say it is best not to start lessons before age eleven. When lessons are begun too early, children often want to shift expensively from instrument to instrument or tire of music lessons altogether. A child's excitement for early music lessons is seldom mature. And parental pressure on an unready child can lead to calamity. A potential prodigy need not also be neurotic.

Remember, when you surrender your parental authority and responsibility to the state, you are still accountable for your children, but you never fully retrieve your authority. Be careful, thoughtful and fully informed before you give away your own lest you like others pay a price in damaged children.

Let's have more warmth and consistent firmness, less indulgence; more work with you, more tools, sticks, nails than fancy toys; more service for others- the old, the young, the poor, the infirm and less sports and amusements; more self-control, patriotism, productiveness and responsibility- which lead to, and follow self-worth as noble citizens. Parents and home, undiluted usually do this best.

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